When I was creating my first-ever website, starting with website mockups wasn’t even a thought that passed through my head. I remember trying to write content, design layouts, AND develop everything directly in WordPress, all at the same time.
Needless to say, I didn’t get very far!
I’d created an almost impossible task for my brain. I was forcing myself to be in creative mode and problem-solving mode at the same time, and the result was that I spent WAY too much time agonizing over a single page.
I wish I knew then what I know now – beginning the design process with website mockups is the key to a successful website creation workflow.
3 Reasons Why You Should Design Website Mockups BEFORE Developing
Starting with website mockups might seem unintuitive because it means adding an extra step. But incorporating this practice will give your business greater freedom, time, and scalability.
No matter which platform you use to create websites (WordPress, Webflow, Showit, Squarespace, etc.), website mockups are the way to go! But before we dive into the reasons why, let’s make sure we’re on the same page – what exactly are website mockups?
Website mockups are high-fidelity (fully designed) representations of what a website will look like – without the functionality of a finished website. Most designers choose to design mockups using software like Adobe XD, another Adobe product, or Figma.
While you may be tempted to skip mockup creation and head straight to the web, here are the main reasons this step is so vital (for both you and your clients).
1. Prevents mental task switching
To perfect your website design workflow, you first need to acknowledge that creating a website involves at least three separate tasks: copywriting, design, and development.
If you’re trying to do all three of these tasks at one time, you’re multitasking, my friend. And as it turns out, we humans are pretty notoriously bad at multitasking.
What does this mean for you and your business? Well, for one, creating websites is a lot more mentally strenuous when you don’t honor each stage as a separate task. One minute, you’ll be thinking about how you can tweak a headline to pack more punch, and the next, you’ll be trying to figure out how to add a custom hover effect to a button.
These are very different tasks that require you to engage different parts of your brain. As a result, you might find yourself getting frustrated with the process, and it’ll likely take much longer than you originally anticipated.
This brings me to the next point…
2. Saves you (lots of) time
You might think that adding this step into your client workflow will slow you down. But creating website mockups will save you time in the long run!
The main reason for this is that making revisions to a website mockup is easier and less time-consuming than making changes to a live website.
By taking the time to create a visual representation of what a website will look like, you’ll give your clients more opportunities to request changes. In turn, you’ll be able to execute those changes almost instantly rather than having to completely redevelop them.
After your client approves the design, you can move on to development with the confidence that the developed version of the site will be exactly what your client wants. You’ll have created a precise roadmap for the development phase, so you can move from a place of creativity into a more technical mindset.
Just like planning your week makes you more productive, creating website mockups makes your workflow more efficient.
3. Allows you to outsource website development
Finally, the best reason to design website mockups is that it makes your business more scalable.
If you’re in the habit of separating your design phase from your development phase, it’ll be so much easier to outsource the development for your client websites. And this is one of the easiest ways to scale your business!
When you’re ready to seek web development help, you’ll be able to spend more time in your zone of genius – designing. Bringing on a trusted development partner will also allow you to take more clients because the weeks you used to spend developing will be freed up!
If you’re ready to offload your website development work, reach out to us here at Seedling Studio! We’d love to help move more clients through your pipeline.
Consider this your sign to STOP designing and developing simultaneously. I guarantee you’ll start seeing better results for both you and your clients.
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